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About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

Having just a classroom/lecture hall experience was never enough for me. I needed to see things for myself and get involved where I could. The GREEN Program offered me the opportunity to not only understand more about sustainability, but about current world issues including international politics and economics.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Department email

Application process

The application was an online form which was quite long. They really wanted to grasp what I was like as a person; what I'd done in the past that had driven me to be interested in sustainability; my life and career ambitions etc. They basically just wanted me to paint a picture of myself to them and see if my ethos, aligned with what they're trying to do. It was a two stage form with you needing to get past the first application before they asked more details.

Main responsibilities

As a representative from both my University and the UK, my main responsibilty was to learn and contribute where I could. Whilst I was in Hawaii, I attended the World Youth Congress 2017. At this week-long event I worked with young leaders from countries all over the world with various backgrounds. The outcome was submitting a document detailing how the United Nations could meet one of their 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) to be presented at the next UN meeting.

Typical day

A typical day was a 4am start. We'd get up early and find anywhere that we could get to, to do a morning hike for sunrise. Hawa'ii has so much to offer so we wanted to maximise our time. We'd then come back to the University of Hawai'i in Manoa and have breakfast before heading to class at the campus on the west of the island. After that we usually fit in a site visit before lunch to places like trash-to-energy plants or a biofuel ranch. We'd then eat lunch somewhere. Local food was on offer before doing another site visit. Before dinner we'd get the opportunity to work on our projects that were to be presented at the Congress. We'd have dinner and head off out afterwards to do something cultural like a Luau or visit a local ranch for stories from natives.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I really enjoyed the connection with people. I was the only person from the UK there, so it gave me an opportunity to network with people from around the world. There were people from really big and really cool organisations, all with the same sustainability ethos. I mean I also enjoyed where I was, Hawai'i is a magical place.

Challenging aspects

The most challenging part was the lack of sleep. We were always on the go, trying to fit in as much as we could. At the same time this was also really good, it kept us all on our toes and we enjoyed just napping when we could and enjoying the time we had there.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

I applied a lot of what I'd learnt to the project we presented at the World Youth Congress. We proposed that the new city being developed in O'ahu to incorporate permeable paving to better deal with stormwater flows.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

I've always been interested in sustainability, but this placement confirmed that whatever career path I choose, I want it to be with a company that has the same morals as I do.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

This program is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It really opens your eyes and broadens your horizons on what is happening in the world. It gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded people from across the world and working on common goals.

Other comments

I have tonnes of cool pictures, but they were the only two that fit within the 250kb allowance.

Form completed: 16 Aug 2017

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